Election 2016 - Tories ‘taking Labour votes’

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The first hints on how Fife may have voted are starting to emerge.

Counting has been going on now for around two hours, and official results won’t be declared until around 4.00 a.m.

But the early indications are the SNP will win in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Glenrothes - there seems little for Labour to celebrate in any of the constituencies - while north-east Fife is a bunfight between the Lib Dems and the SNP.

Huw Bell, who is fighting that seat for the Tories, said his party had taken a hit on the first vote - but was looking good on the second list ballot.

And he said the party’s pitch to become the unofficial opposition had resonated on the doorsteps.

He said: ‘‘It has been a very good, positive campaign.

‘‘I’m really, really hopeful the second vote will generate one more MSP in mid-Fife - possibly two.

‘‘I’ve been out locally and in Perth and Stirling and we are genuinely finding Labour voters backing us.

‘‘They like our message and they like Ruth Davidson as leader.

‘‘Our message of standing up for the union and being a strong opposition at Holyrood really resonated.’’

Mr Bell, who is tenth on his party’s list for mid-Fife, also said it was too early to call the overall winner of the north-east Fife seat which pitches Willie Rennie, leader of the Lib Dems, against incumbent, Rod Campbell of the SNP.

The seat was a Lib Dem stronghold until 2011’s SNP sweep of the country.

He said: ‘‘It’s really tight between the Lib Dems and SNP.’’